One of the most exciting things about winter where I live (often the ONLY exciting thing) is the return of the snow geese and swans to fields just a few miles away.
I first noticed they were back last Wednesday when I was on my way to Snohomish. I stopped near Campbell’s Tree Farm on Springhetti Road to take photos of the flags they had on their fence for Veteran’s Day.
When I got out of my car, I heard it; one of my favorite winter sounds, the sound of geese honking. Thousands of them! They were in a field on the other side of the railroad tracks so I could only see the ones that were flying.
I tried zooming in but the 210 mm reach of my lens was pretty inadequate.
But I didn’t care that I couldn’t get close enough to take good pictures. I could hear them and I was mesmerized by watching clouds of them rise and then fall back to the far off field, honking all the while. To me, the sound of geese is the sound of November and a sign of the approaching winter. I stood there for the longest time, just watching and listening. I wished, not for the first time, that the valley wasn’t so flood prone, because I would like to live there.
Flooding is actually what brought us back to the valley on Sunday. We went out to look at the swollen river and flooded fields and found the snow geese in the strip of fields that lie between Hwy 9 and Springhetti Road. I got out and took photos while Don and Smarty waited in the warm car.
I hope to find the geese so close to the road on a sunnier day so I can use a faster shutter speed and hopefully get sharper photos. But mostly I just hope to see them and hear them many times throughout the winter. I love our visitors from the Arctic tundra!